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CBSE Notes | Class 10 | Social Science | Political Science Chapter 1 - Power Sharing
The chapter discusses the reasons behind power sharing and case studies of 2 countries namely Belgium and Sri Lanka. We highlight the methods of power sharing in the two countries; one with accomodation and the other with majoritarianism. We also learn various ways in which power is shared between different actors.
An intelligent sharing of power among legislature, executive and judiciary is very important to the design of a democracy. For a long time it was believed that all power of a government must reside in one person or group of persons located at one place. It was felt that if the power to decide is dispersed, it would not be possible to take quick decisions and to enforce them.
Prudential Reasons for Power Sharing
Power sharing is good because it helps to reduce the possibility of conflict between social groups. - Power sharing is a good way to ensure the stability of political order.
Moral Reasons for Power Sharing
Power sharing is the very spirit of democracy. A democratic rule involves sharing power with those affected by its exercise, and who have to live with its effects.
The Case of Belgium
59% of Belgium's population lives in the Flemish (Flanders) region and speaks Dutch language. - Another 40% people live in the Wallonia region and speak French. Remaining 1% of the Belgians speak German.
- In the capital city Brussels, 80 per cent people speak French while 20 per cent are Dutch- speaking.
The minority French-speaking community was relatively rich and powerful. This was not liked by the Dutch-speaking community who got the benefit of economic development and education much later.
This led to tensions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities during the 1950s and 1960s. The tension between the two communities was more acute in Brussels.
Brussels presented a special problem: the Dutch-speaking people constituted a majority in the country, but a minority in the capital.
Belgian leaders recognized the existence of regional differences and cultural diversities. They amended their constitution four times so as to work out an arrangement that would enable everyone to live together within the same country.
Number of Dutch and French-speaking ministers shall be equal in the central government. That is equal representation.
Some special laws require majority from each linguistic group, so no community could make laws uni-laterally or on their own
Many powers of central government were given to state government of two regions. They are not subordinate to central governments.
The capital Brussels has special government with equal re